Bonum Certa Men Certa

Vietnam's and Other Nations' Adoption of GNU/Linux in an Age of Rotting Financial Systems and Corporate Administrations

Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer. Also available in Gemini.

More car thoughts about economics.



As America falls over and stores complain about how much they lose to theft, I have some more musings on what’s going on with Capitalism in America.



Capitalism, makes bad products, ones that even violate the minimum safety regulations that theoretically exist in America, and nobody does anything about it.



About 10 years ago, I was broke, and I was looking for ways to save money on almost anything I could. When I went to the Dollar Tree, where everything really was $1, I bought some bags of coffee.



They said, “Product of Vietnam”, but they were $1. So I bought several bags and figured I was done buying coffee for the month.



When I got home, and brewed a pot, it left a plastic-like residue all over my coffee maker carafe, and I had to chisel it apart with a butter knife before I could use the coffee maker again.



I have no idea what that stuff was, but needless to say I did not drink the coffee.



I’ve bought a couple other products there before I realized completely what Dollar Tree actually was. It’s not a way to be frugal, it’s a false economy.



They aim for low prices, because so many people in America can’t afford anything better, and it does not matter at all if any of the products are “good”, at least on some level.



When I read that Dollar Tree is complaining about rampant theft, I because quite concerned about the current situation in America and what it means for the future.



Previously, for an item to be considered worthy of theft, it had to appeal to people who would see it as sort of a “religious artifact”, yet didn’t have the money that a Capitalist economy demands for such a thing.



Consider the $300-600 Air Jordan shoes, and how there are so many ways people get them. From smash-and-grab retail theft, to working a lot to buy just one pair of shoes, which cost 10-20 times what a perfectly good unbranded pair of shoes cost, to even using rent-to-own, and paying $1,200 for the shoes, eventually.



Marx gave us the concept of “Commodity Fetishism”.



It’s when an object loses its appeal over its utilitarian value to the consumer, and takes on, sort of a life of its own, being given an, almost mystical or mythological qualities in the person’s mind.



Consider Apple products. They have very little utilitarian value. If you want a set of earbuds, you can get something as good as AirPods for no more than $40, yet Apple charges up to, I think $300 for a codec with a battery and a little plastic.



This is commodity fetishism. People are encouraged through advertising, to pay for their own brainwashing, and a premium for an otherwise limited-value proposition.



People who fall victim to fetishism of commodities will end up paying too much for everything from coffee to computers.



While there is definitely a point where things get too cheap to possibly be good in a Capitalist economy ($1 coffee or $1 3.5 oz frozen ribeye steaks at the dollar store), there’s also a point where you get a good product, but you’re paying 10 times as much as you should, because there was a point where the utilitarian value of the purchase leveled off, and it was a long time ago.



So now you’re in debt to the “credit card” people and the “finance company”, and reality sets in that the product did not raise your standard of living, but you are paying for them fooling you.



Commodity fetishism leads to high levels of debt and dissatisfaction.



When people say that nobody in America is poor because they all have flat screens and nice shoes, that’s what this means.



You have no….money, per se, but Capitalism has made you rich in flat screen TVs, BMW cars, Apple phones, AirPods, Air Jordans, and Kirby vacuums…



(I know, you just opened the door and before you knew it, the guy had you signing papers, and you don’t even have any carpet!)



If a product is actually so much better that it earns its high price, then this isn’t automatically commodity fetishism, but this is a rarity.



“A religion may be discerned in capitalism – that is to say, capitalism serves essentially to allay the same anxieties, torments, and disturbances to which the so-called religions offered answers.”



“Capitalism is probably the first instance of a cult that creates guilt, not atonement.”

– Walter Benjamin, Capitalism as Religion


Most people born in America engage in Commodity Fetishism.



It’s almost inevitable thanks to the cradle to grave brainwashing that you’re only one product away from happiness.



Hell, I don’t know ONE person who isn’t affected by this lunacy, except me, and I must confess there have been times. But it seems everyone else I know has it so much worse.



70 hour work weeks and the whole Amazon warehouse in their closet. They don’t even open the boxes anymore. It’s rather disgusting.



But human nature is to be greedy, and advertisers like this.



Even in the Soviet Union, where you could get into huge trouble for having an underground dance club with Western music, booze, cigarettes, and clothing, they happened and the government was never successful in shutting them down although some did get raided.



One of the latest, and weirdest, phenomenons of Capitalism is their belief that they can eventually replace most workers with “AI”.



The third world…the third world….the southern hemisphere!



The third world…..the third world….the southern hemisphere……A
stop job is running 1m 30s….



The computer is rebooting NOW….Reason: User pressed Ctrl-Alt-Del 5
times…..hangs.



*sigh* *Holds in the power button.*

-Joe Biden’s Brain and Karen Jean-Pierre


When Bonehead Biden was in Vietnam the other day, where his brain took another dump on him mid-sentence and he started saying “The third world, the third world, the southern hemisphere.” followed by a word salad and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre quickly rushing the demented old coot off the stage, it was said that the United States will have Microsoft “export AI” to Vietnam.



One does wonder what a “Communist worker’s state” will do with “Microsoft AI”, which has lost its novelty, and which people here don’t really use much anymore.



As soon as people got tired of ELIZA on Steroids, they started leaving “ChatGPT” alone.



The barely noticeable uptick in Bing market share quickly evaporated.



Again, what are Communists going to do with a chat bot?



Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?



The closest thing we have to a Communist Party in America is something called “RevCom” for Revolutionary Communism.



I only became aware of it while I was in South Chicago for a while.



I don’t think any of them have been brushing up on Marx. It’s a bit, uhm, dry reading, and the people calling themselves Revolutionary Communists don’t strike me as big readers who know a lot of five dollar words.



I’ve never encountered, actual Communists, in America.



The label is so toxic that the only people using it officially are derelicts who have nothing and are pissed.



Even people who are basically Communists here swear up and down that they’re not.



They’re Democrats, or Socialists, or Democratic Socialists, or they make up new words.



Anything but Communism.



What does amaze me is how a country that takes away everything from people and leaves them homeless or dying from lack of food or medical care, has been so good about suppressing revolt.



The United States has been unbelievably more successful with violently suppressing dissent than the Soviet Union was.



There came a point where so many people in the Soviet Union were so dissatisfied with it that it broke apart, and instead of murdering EVERYONE eventually the powers that be let it go.



That rather says a lot about America, I think.



We have long since crossed the point where people would replace it with something else if they possibly could. If they had the power to change things.



Except that our government always credibly threatens “the most vicious dogs” and “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” (two of Trump’s best), and people just quietly go back inside their home (or tent) and quit “causing trouble”, again.



There’s something different that’s happening this time, though. More people are just going into the stores and taking things and they don’t even care if the police are watching them. They have no job, despite the fake government statistics saying everyone is flush with cash, well fed, and gainfully employed.



Communist governments would be too ashamed to produce statistics such as the ones that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has gotten away with.



When Trump had them make a “math error” to not count a million unemployed people, Barack Obama stepped in and claimed nobody at BLS would ever lie to us. Oh sure, right.



(The same BLS that says the dollar has only lost two-thirds of its value since I was born in 1984, through 2023, when I’ve seen it lose at least that much as it pertains to rent and food since 2003.)



They’re all swamp monsters. Trump was just one that didn’t get along with the rest.



Everyone who has been paying attention to this country knows that this is not a happy crew and that our current president is basically full-on Weekend at Bernie’s because his mind is so gone. Turns out, we don’t even need a president, because they can put documents in front of a confused old man and have him sign ’em.



Maybe that’s how they got him to say Microsoft will export AI to Vietnam.



One of the only things that a lot of Communist governments did get right was basing a national operating system on GNU/Linux.



This isn’t actually just about Communism trying to provide affordable technology for its citizens. It’s a national security issue. Windows is horribly architected and impossible to secure. It’s also got built-in spyware for the US government.



You would have to be retarded to rely on something like this from an enemy country that wants to keep tabs on you.



It’s not just Communists that are ripping Windows and other US tech out of their computing, and a lot of it is because Microsoft is also an economic drain on their country’s economy. But that’s not even the main concern.



I just fail to see how wasting money on some Microsoft chat bot is going to help them when their government throws Windows out because it doesn’t want to be the victim of espionage.



Maybe they just don’t actually plan to use it for anything but had to do something to get the corrupt Bernie Lomax Biden Administration to open talks with Vietnam.

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